Categories
Personal Development

5 Reasons Why You Should Be Responsible For Your Life

Motivational Quotes

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe.” – Anatole France.

 

 

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” – Serenity Prayer

 

Cease to ask what the morrow will bring forth, and set down as gain each day that Fortune grants.” – Horace.

 

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called present.” – Unknown

 

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain.

 

“Failure is blindness to the strategic element in events; success is readiness for instant action when the opportune moment arrives.”  – Newell D. Hillis.

 

Life is what you make of it. If you make it happy you will enjoy happiness. If you make it boring you will definitely be bored; make it positive and you will live a positive life. You take out of life, what you give it, nothing less and nothing more.

In other words you are responsible for your own life. You are responsible for creating the life that you want. You can chart the course of your life. No one has the right to prescribe what your life should be or look like, without your permission. This is your birth right and your responsibility.

Quit blaming people for what you do not have or have not achieved and start doing something about it. If you are miserable you are solely responsible for ensuring that you change it.

In the first place you must realise that you are the one who got yourself where you are, based of the decisions and choices you have made.

This is what many people do not realise, that it is everyone’s responsibility to make decisions that will help chart their own lives.

Instead, they wait for someone to come and make decisions for them and they end up waiting for eternity or continue living a life that is controlled by other people.

Do you realise that every decision you make has an immediate or future influence on your life? Your life is made of the small decisions and choices you make everyday.

That is why it is important to the make right decisions and choices that have a lasting and positive influence on your life.

As human beings we have a tendency of turning a blind eye to facing the reality of making those tough decisions and choices. Especially, if the decisions will lead to some temporal set backs. This is a bad habit that must be broken.


If you do not make the decision to resolve certain problems, they have a way of showing up in future. It could just be the reason why certain things are going wrong in your life. Have the courage to make decisions and learn to live with the consequences.

Do not shy away from making those uncomfortable hard decisions that could make or break your life. Do not allow people to take away your responsibility for your own life.

Take Control of Your Destiny

The results of being responsible for your life are many. When you are in control of your life, you also control your destiny. You decide what is good for you and what is not good for you.

You decide what your life should look like, what direction it should take and what it should be. In other words you are the captain of your life.

Yes, sometimes things will not go accordingly, but you will be absolutely pleased that you are responsible for everything that happens to your life because, you made the decisions and choices yourself. The other thing you will take away is that you will have no one, but you to blame.

Instead you will find solutions to fix your current inadequacies and correct the situation. Equally, when you succeed you will take all the credit.

Well, you know how it feels to be credited with success. This is what makes life worth living for, the ability to make adjustments and decisions that help propel your life forward.

It doesn’t mean that things will be easy when you are in control, No. But it motivates you to do even more things that make you happy. You set your own goals and move at your own pace.

Experience Personal Freedom

Every good thing comes with a responsibility. Being responsible is a requisite for personal freedom. Its an expression of personal freedom and signifies maturity. It is a good measure to use as a self check to achieving personal development and self improvement.

My son was learning about his rights as a child at school. One day when he came back home from school he was very excited to tell me about his rights, I asked him to list them down one by one.

What I noticed is that he was not told by the teacher that to every right there is a responsibility. He was only told one side of the story.

I got his list and also wrote down the responsibilities that go with the rights he had listed down. It then dawned on him that to very right he has, there is also a requirement to take responsibility in order to enjoy the right fully.

I think that is the way life should be. Personal freedom and responsibility go hand in hand. If you want to enjoy freedom you must take responsibility for it.

We must ensure that we put in place things that will propel our freedom without infringing on other peoples freedoms. We must learn to coexist as human beings.

Accountability

Accountability is “responsibility to someone or for some activity.” If you are married you are responsible and accountable to your spouse. Yes, it is your responsibility to be accountable. I know that most men do not want to be accountable to their wives. But it is our responsibility and duty to do that.

I believe that we are all accountable to one another not only our spouses but to the community at large. How we live our lives is a reflection of how accountable we are.

How then, can you be accountable if you are not in charge of your own life. I am a Christian and believe that one day God will ask us to give an account for our lives.

Being accountable is being responsible. If you work for an Audit or Law firm you are taught to account for your time by way of filling in a time sheet on a regular basis.

You have to be in control of your time because every minute you spend on a file is charged to the client. This is just one way of asking you to be responsible with your time. You do not want to over charge a client and you also want to give the best advice or service possible.

A Sense of Belonging

You feel a sense of appreciation when you are contributing to a just cause. You can only contribute more when you are in control of yourself. Those who are totally in charge of their lives contribute more positively to society than those who are not in control of themselves.

As you may well know, that human beings are social by nature. Belonging is the feeling of security and support when there is a sense of acceptance, inclusion and identity for a member of a certain group. We all strive to be accepted socially because that is in our nature.

Creating genuine feelings of belonging, is a critical factor in improving engagement and performance. You should not force your acceptance to a group by giving up your responsibility for your life. You have the power and will to choose what type of relationships to belong to.

It Is Your Duty

Your life is your responsibility. It is your duty to look after it and do what you feel is right with it. At the end of the day it is you who will be answerable for it to your creator. You will stand in the “dock” and be answerable for how you spent it. What you did with it.

Taking responsibility is acknowledging that you are taking control of your life, it is telling your friends and the world that you are in charge and not your spouse, father, mother or any one else.

It brings out the best in you. It is your duty and your birth right to be in charge of yourself.

Conclusion

One of the most important aspects of taking responsibility for your life is that you will live your life according to your will. No one will live it for you and everything you accomplish will be dully credited to you.

No one will take away the joy you and happiness you will experience. Make sure you are responsible for your life.

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Categories
Inspiration

You Are Responsible For Your Life

Motivational Quotes

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe.” – Anatole France.

 

 

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” – Serenity Prayer

 

Cease to ask what the morrow will bring forth, and set down as gain each day that Fortune grants.” – Horace.

 

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called present.” – Unknown

 

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain.

 

“Failure is blindness to the strategic element in events; success is readiness for instant action when the opportune moment arrives.”  – Newell D. Hillis.

 

“I am the captain of my soul. I am the master of my fate” – William Henley. If you didn’t know now you know that you are solely responsible for your life. The choices and decisions you make are your responsibility.

Stop blaming other people for your under achievements and take responsibility to correct them. Humans have a tendency of playing the blame game. We want to have an excuse for our failures and inadequacies.

Most of the times we want to find someone or something to blame when things are not going right.

But do you realise that most of the time, if not all time we are responsible for the out come of our decisions?

If you make poor or bad choices do you expect to have better results? Why then do you want to blame other people for your choices?

This lack of being in control of our lives has costed many of us opportunities for growth.

Look if I have been in total control of my life from a young age I know for sure that I could have achieved many things. Am pretty sure you can relate to this as well.

However, the fact that I have not progressed as desired does not preclude me from being accountable for my life. It is my responsibility to ensure that I achieve and attain my God given destiny.

I know for sure that we all want to live a good life atleast I do. But, every good thing comes with a price.

For you to live a good life you must first take responsibility and be prepared to pay the price and usually it is a very high one.

Sometimes the small things that we do may seem to be insignificant. Well you are wrong, success is doing the small things that need to be done and when added up they become significant.

Being responsible makes you feel at peace with yourself. I know that as human beings we do not like being associated with negative results. But remember that it is the movement from negative to positive that determines the level of your success.

Personal development and self improvement starts from being responsible for your life. When you are in control of your life it is much easier to chart the course of your life.

Yes things will not always go accordingly, but you will learn to handle disappointments more maturely and improve on your weaknesses.

The Need to Be Accountable

“Some men have thousands of reasons why they cannot do what they want to; all they need is one reason why they can” – Willis Whitney.

“A desire to be in charge of our own lives, and a need for control is born in each of  us. It is essential to our mental health, and our success, that we take control” – Robert F. Bennett.

When I was growing up I had no sense of accountability. For me life was just about enjoying myself and nothing else. But slowly as I approached my teens and advanced in my education things started to change.

The demand from my Dad to perform better and keep up with school work, made me realise that I needed to be accountable for my life. At least then, it was out of fear of being reprimanded by my Dad.

I thank God and give a lot of credit to my late Dad for the role he played in making me realise that I needed to be accountable for my life not only to my self but to him as well. This was a game changer for my life.

Being able to be accountable made me realise that I also needed to be in charge of my life. Because you will not be able to give a positive account if you do not know what you are doing. I think being accountable makes you responsible.

Fast forward, am no longer accountable to my Dad but I have a wife and children that look up to me. Apart from God and society at large these are the people that am directly accountable to.

You see because I now have my own family and they depend on me, I have learned that my life is not just about me. It is also about them. I need to strike a balance between my needs and also meet there needs.

So far they have been very supportive of my work and I really thank them. But I do not take it for granted.

Being accountable to someone makes you grow as an individual. It also helps you measure the level of your growth. If you do not have someone you are answerable to, it takes a lot of discipline to stay focused.

I would encourage you to find someone you can be answerable to. I know that the temptation especially for us men to wanting freedom is greater, but if you want to have better control of your life you need to have someone who can help you be in check.

One Day You will Be Answerable

“Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God” – Leo Buscaglia.

I believe in God and the resurrection and that we were all created by him. I also believe that there is a heaven and hell somewhere.

The one who gives us life on a daily basis will one day demand an explanation of how we lived our lives on earth.

We will be answerable to him, that is why we must try as much as possible to live according to his word.

I have developed a never give up mentality, because for everyday that I wake up, I believe that God still has use for me.

Oh yes, I know that some things have eluded me, but I also believe that there are much better opportunities to come for me.

Always look to the brighter side of life. Stop complaining about going through the darkest side of life. If not you, then who?

Get on and do the right thing bearing in mind that one day you will be answerable to your creator.

Conclusion

Life is too short. Focus from this day forward on making a difference. It is your responsibility to ensure that to attain your God given destiny.

With each choice you make, you create your life. Choose wisely and above all be responsible for your life.

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Categories
Happiness

Decide to Be Happy Everyday and Enjoy Your Life

Motivational Quotes

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe.” – Anatole France.

 

 

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” – Serenity Prayer

 

Cease to ask what the morrow will bring forth, and set down as gain each day that Fortune grants.” – Horace.

 

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called present.” – Unknown

 

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain.

 

“Failure is blindness to the strategic element in events; success is readiness for instant action when the opportune moment arrives.”  – Newell D. Hillis.

 

There are two things to aim at in life: first to get what you want, and after that to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind has achieved the second” – Logan Pearshall Smith. Everyday is a beautiful day that is filled with joy and happiness, but also everyday is a beautiful day that is filled with sadness. If every day is a gift why do you then decide to live a life of sadness. We live our lives based off, the decisions we made in the past. That is why it is better to make the right decisions today that will affect our future.

Am not perfect but everyday that I wake-up, I thank God almighty for giving me another opportunity to better my life. I believe that for as long as you are alive you have the chance of improving your life and that of the people around you and beyond.

Yes, I know you may not be in a position to do the things you want to do now, but you have the chance because you are alive. One thing I have noticed is that we as human beings take life for granted. We do not take time to appreciate the fact that we are alive and in pretty much good health. If you are reading this article you are even more privileged than most people. It simply means that you have access to a computer and the internet.

However, you are accessing them, these things cost money. Do you know how many people cannot even come close to think about having the privilege you have? Yet you continue living a life of sadness. I know that you may not have all you desire, but at least give thanks that you are alive. Life is not just about having all you desire but living happily and enjoying it.

Take Responsibility for Your Decisions

The biggest weakness we have as human beings is not taking full responsibility for our decisions. We only want to take responsibility when things are going right and people are praising us. I believe that taking responsibility for our mistakes is a sign of maturity. I am proud to take full responsibility for my personal decisions. Sometimes its difficult to accept that am in a certain situation because of my decisions but that’s just the truth. If I had made better choices I could not have found my self in difficult circumstances in the first place. Ever since I decided to be taking full responsibility for my decisions, life is more fulfilling and enjoyable. What this has done is that, before I make a major decision I think about it very hard.

I have also learnt that deciding to be happy early in the morning makes my day a lot easier to navigate. I know that sometimes people want to mess it up for me, but because a decision was made in the morning to be happy, I stick with it. My mind is pre-conditioned to stay happy and this flows to my emotions. They say our thoughts influence our emotions. When you decide on something and you stick with it, nothing can shake you. Yes things may be thrown at you, but you have the resolve to be happy and you will be, even during the bad and difficult times.

One of the things I do when am confronted with a potentially explosive situation is to just smile and walk away if I can or better still just keep quiet. Its hard to just walk away at first especially if you are hot tempered, but with practice it becomes easier.

There is no need to allow people to annoy you. Life is too short to be lived sad. God has given us the ability to choose freely. The power to decide is entirely in your hands. I like to make a comparison with say going out to have fun with friends. Most of the time when something goes wrong we blame the company we were hanging around with for the decisions we made. Yes they may have played a part but the final say, lies in our hands. If you say no to taking part in unwanted situation you can. This also goes to being in a toxic relationship. You can either decide to continue in it or you can get out.

Learn to Enjoy Your Life

Life is too short, learn to enjoy it. You can only enjoy life if you decide to and this decision is entirely yours. There are many ways to enjoying life, one of which is to do the things that make you happy more often. Most of us do not enjoy our lives simply because of the jobs we do. If your daily job does not make you happy you are most likely living a sad life.

The happiest people are those with jobs that make them happy. You can be paid as much money as possible but without happiness the job is meaningless. You would be probably contributing more if you found a job that makes you happy. Now, a job does not necessarily mean being employed by someone or working for a big corporation. You could be self employed and earning a decent living by doing the things that make you happy. “Be absolutely determined to enjoy what you do” – Gerry Sikorski.

That is why it very important to know your life’s purpose earlier in your life. This helps in choosing careers that will enhance and help you achieve your goals. One of the ways to know what your life’s purpose is, is to list down the things that easily flow from you. The things that you do with much ease and less effort. These are the things that could point you to what your life’s purpose is. It could be that you are gifted at making people laugh, well go ahead and be a professional comedian. The idea is start living and enjoy your working life. After all we spend most of our time working.

If you have made mistakes in the past like me, don’t worry, there is still room for change. You can make the change right now and decide to do the right things for the rest of your life. And besides who has never made a mistake in their life? Forget the mistakes you made, treat them as a learning point and move on. You cannot change the past but can positively influence your future beginning this moment by making the right decisions.

Conclusion

You don’t pay the price for success. You enjoy the price for success” – Zig Ziglar. I would like to conclude by advising you to made a decision to start living a happy life. Get your power back by taking responsibility for your decisions. We all fall down, but we get up and press on with life. Until next time have a blessed and happy life.

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Categories
Personal Development Self Growth Self Improvement Success

Life is Like a Seed that Needs to be Nurtured

Motivational Quotes

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe.” – Anatole France.

 

 

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” – Serenity Prayer

 

Cease to ask what the morrow will bring forth, and set down as gain each day that Fortune grants.” – Horace.

 

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called present.” – Unknown

 

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain.

 

“Failure is blindness to the strategic element in events; success is readiness for instant action when the opportune moment arrives.”  – Newell D. Hillis.

 

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but, by the seeds you plant” – Robert Louis Stevenson. Our attitude about the future depends on our ability to see the future. Each of us has the inherent ability to dream, design, and experience the future through our hopeful imagination. Whatever the mind has the capacity to imagine, it also has the ability to create. All human beings carry a seed to create. They say all growth is from within. You see we all carry the seed to succeed and grow in whatever we put our mind on. In other words life is like a seed. If you look around, you will realise that there is nothing that was not created. Believe it or not, everything you see was first conceived as a seed.

The question you might be asking is if we all carry the seed of success why is it that only a few people are successful? Well the biggest challenge with most of us is that we let the seed go to waste. We do not take good care of it. You see for any seed to grow, it must be nurtured and nourished. This is the process that we do not want to undertake. Nurturing and nourishing a seed takes a lot of time, discipline and is hard work.

Recently I started a small backyard garden. I have been growing plants from seeds. It has taken me close to 3 months to grow pepper, from seed to now almost harvest time. I have not yet harvested it and anything could go wrong before then. So not until we have enjoyed the first harvest, we have not yet enjoyed the benefits of our labour.

I believe that life is like a tree. It starts as a seed and grows into a tree. Any seed has the potential to grow into a tree. However, whether the seed will grow into a tree and produce good fruit or not will depend on the quality of the nutrients. See for any seed to sprout and grow it needs dirt or better still soil otherwise if left open the sun will burn it. Now soil contains nutrients that are necessary for the growth of the seed. I believe it takes a lot of energy for the small seed to push it’s self up from under ground to the surface. And better still it has to adapt to the different weather patterns and conditions to grow and start bearing good fruit.

Nurture and Nourish that Seed

Whatever that you want to do in life is like a seed. If you want to be successful at whatever, you need to understand that it takes hard and smart work to achieve it. Look, “somewhere in the Kafue National Park every morning arises an impala that realises that it must run faster than the fastest Lion or it will be eaten and die that day, in the same National Park arises a Lion that realises that it must run faster than the fastest Impala or it will starve and die that day”. The moral of the story is that no matter what you do in life you have to run.

No matter who you are you have to run. The running symbolises the work that you have to do on a daily basis. If you’ve had the opportunity to watch national geographics and observed how both the Impala and the Lion run. You will realise that they do not just run in a straight line.

Life will throw things at you. It is therefore, important that you learn how to meander throw those obstacles. Believe me learning to meander through life is not easy. We are constantly learning and adapting to life on a daily basis. If you are not changing with time then, you are not improving and are most likely to remain behind. It could be the reason why you have stagnated in life.

The dirt or soil symbolises the hard work. This is the hardest part. To make the soil more fertile and conducive for the seed, takes learning and discipline. This helps you build character. Now that you have character with time and endurance you will have nurtured and nourished your ideas and will give birth to your plans or project. Before you know it you will be reaping the fruits of your labour. The hardest part however, is the nurturing and nourishing part. I believe that every good thing takes time. Most of us do not want to endure the soil. We do not want the dirt being thrown at us. We want to skip from seed to fruit.

Allow God to Be at the Centre of Your Plans

The bible says “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” – Jeremiah 29. This is huge for me. To me it is clear that what ever plans we have before we implement them we must put them before God. Ultimately the Lord knows what he has planned for us. It is therefore, imperative that we conform with the plans of the lord for our lives. Allowing God to lead is just wonderful. Yes sometimes we miss it and get off target and yes sometimes things do not go as we want them. The bigger picture is that God knows what is best for our us. Am human just like you and sometimes I question God when things are not going as I expect them.

The comforting thing is that God always makes a way where there seems to be no way. Allow me to say that God is a teacher and accepts anyone as they are. The beauty with following God is that it is at your own free will. I have made mistakes and some of the things am not proud of. But I know that he accepts me just the way I am.

Conclusion

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans” – Proverbs. Do not let those plans; those seeds that you have go to waste. You have a duty or rather a responsibility to ensure that you do not deprive the world of them. Lastly we should should learn to give thanks and praise to the Lord because he gives us the opportunity to live and go on with our lives. Thank you and remember to standout tall and be counted.

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Categories
Personal Development Self Growth Self Improvement

Life Gives Us a Second Chance

Motivational Quotes

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe.” – Anatole France.

 

 

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” – Serenity Prayer

 

Cease to ask what the morrow will bring forth, and set down as gain each day that Fortune grants.” – Horace.

 

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called present.” – Unknown

 

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain.

 

“Failure is blindness to the strategic element in events; success is readiness for instant action when the opportune moment arrives.”  – Newell D. Hillis.

 

If you are reading this article, today is the first day of the rest of your life, and you have every reason to be grateful for it. Thank God for the gift of your life.

You are alive for a reason and a season. I believe that life has always given us an opportunity for a second chance.

You may not currently be in a position to afford a good life. A life that you desire. You may have messed up or have let an opportunity pass you by.

Yes, life may seem to be unbearable and unfair; the doctors may have given you a bad report on your health but, that’s not the end of the world.

Thank God you are still alive. Let me assure you, that for as long as you have the breadth of life in you; as long as you are alive;  you definitely have an opportunity to overcome your current challenges.

Never give up because it is never too late for you to achieve your dreams.

Yes, some people may seem to be far ahead of you, but always remember that you have your own life to live; and who says you should live your life based on other people’s progress?

Most of us have had a very bumpy life. Sometimes due to our own making and at times due to circumstances beyond our control.

I believe that most of the circumstances we go through in life are of our own making. Meaning we have the power to change them.

Most of us have given up on making progress with our lives. We have become accustomed and have accepted to living a mediocre life.

When we fall down we must learn to pick ourselves up. Many of the times we will have very few people around when we have fallen down.

It is at these times when we should summon all our strength and courage to stand up and keep moving.

The God who has given us life also provides us with the strength and direction of our lives.

As human beings, we must embrace and be thankful that we are always given a second chance at life.

Though we fall, when we have the courage to get up, God gives us more life and grace so that we can achieve our goals.

Yes, I know that there are opportunities that come once in a lifetime. Some of these may not be the best ones for us.

Never give up, just know that God’s timing is the best. We should all bear in mind that the greatest glory of living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time you fall.

Those that have succeeded have failed before. The great inventors of this world have failed many times before they succeeded and today who remembers their failures?

Have a Never Give Up Mentality

I love football and sports in general. Sportsmen and women who succeed have a never-give-up mentality.

Sportsmen and women are impressive; the hours and days they put in training for them to show their skill only for a short period of time is amazing.

Not only to show their skills but also to win matches, is out of this world.

I recently watched a football match where the team I support was written off even before the beginning of the match.

The only consolation I had as a supporter was that we are going to have a good game of football.

But as the players entered the pitch you could see the positive mindset they were carrying. They just looked like they had already won the match.

You see they had lost the first match and needed to win this one by an “impossible” scoreline against one of the very best teams.

When my team scored the first goal I believed that the impossible would be possible. Well, the rest is history.

The never-give-up mentality should be adopted at all times. Those who never give up even in times of adversity are bound to succeed.

When you are given a second chance, embrace it with all your might and ensure that you make the most of every opportunity.

Don’t be discouraged when you fail, because you have just discovered one way of not making it.

I have set a one-month challenge; beginning 1st February I will be posting an article every day until the month ends.

This is a huge challenge for me, as I have never done this before. But I pray that God will give me a never-give-up mentality.

A mentality to press on until I achieve the goal. I will evaluate my progress at the end of the challenge and share the experience. I am looking forward to it.

I believe that challenging our abilities is one of the best ways to ensuring and enhancing personal development and growth.

I think life would be very boring without challenges. I am now developing a mentality of constantly challenging my abilities.

Enjoy Your Life

Learn to live a happy life. Decide to be happy every morning you wake up.

Did you know that happiness is the highest level of success? One of the best ways of enjoying life is doing the things you enjoy, most of the time.

There is no point in living a life of grumbling every day. “Life is too short to be lived with hate and sadness” – said Nelson Mandela when he was released from prison after 27 years.

He had no choice but to forgive his oppressors because he did not want to continue being their prisoner by carrying hatred in his heart.

He wanted to enjoy total freedom for the rest of his life. If you are carrying hate, unforgiveness, and anger you are not free; you are a prisoner. Free yourself and begin to enjoy your life.

Happiness also comes through giving. I have great joy when I give and see the joy in the other person.

I used to wonder why the bible says it is more blessed to give than to receive. I mean, after all, we all want to be on the receiving end especially good gifts.

But, I have learned that as a parent we are always happy to see our children enjoying the fruits of our labour.

I don’t know about you but the joy I get when I have provided a solution for someone and they walk away happy is just mind-blowing.

Giving may not necessarily be in monetary form. It could just be a helping hand. It could be your time or just being good to someone.

There is so much we could do for the world that will put a smile on many people. Imagine living in a world full of happy people.

Conclusion

Life is only what we choose to make it. With every choice you make, you create your life.

God is such a gracious father he is a God of second chances. We must learn to embrace the opportunities and chances that come our way.

Many a time we will fail, but we must never give up. We must remain steadfast and focused.

We must embrace failure and learn from it; we must never be defeated by it.

Remember that life is built of the things we do. The small things we do every day. “In the end, it is not the years in your life that count. Its the life in your years” – Abraham Lincoln. Revised on 20/04/2021.

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The 9 Must Have Life Skills part 3

Motivational Quotes

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe.” – Anatole France.

 

 

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” – Serenity Prayer

 

Cease to ask what the morrow will bring forth, and set down as gain each day that Fortune grants.” – Horace.

 

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called present.” – Unknown

 

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain.

 

“Failure is blindness to the strategic element in events; success is readiness for instant action when the opportune moment arrives.”  – Newell D. Hillis.

 

Welcome to part 3 of “the 9 must have life skills”.  This is the final part of the 3 series. Let’s start with a quick recap of the past two articles. In part one I mentioned the first three life skills namely, influencing; delegation, and persuasion.

We went on to describe these in detail click here to read part 1. In part two I talked about the next three life skills namely; coaching, feedback and conflict handling click here to read part 2.A general is just as good or just as bad as the troops under his command make him” ~ General Douglas MacArthur. “A leader is a dealer in hope” ~ Napoleon Bonaparte.

The last three life skills are the ones that expose your inner being, to the outside world. Remember you work from the inside out and not vice versa. You are made of what is inside you.

You must know that all growth is from within. You cannot give out what you do not have. People will only judge you from what they see and how you present yourself to them. I will now present the life skills as below:

Presentation

Presentation is an area that can be a challenge to many. We all make judgement by seeing or rather analysing the presentation by a colleague or friend. In my own humble definition, I regard presentation as way to send and receive information in a way that makes people want to hear what you are saying or doing.

Presentation can come in many different forms. In fact, we are always presenting ourselves on a daily basis, be it at work or to our customers, friends, spouses, children and the list is endless.

Presentation is about getting your message across a section of society. In doing this, you should ask yourself what you want to achieve. A good leader should also be a good presenter.

If you are in leadership this is the skill that will influence your team members to appreciate or agree with your philosophies. The key to being a good presenter is knowing what you want to achieve.

To effectively get your message across, it is important to consider these two perspectives;

  •  What do you want to say?
  • What is the expectation of your audience?

Dale Canergie, once said, “there are always three speeches, for every one you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wished you gave”.

As I mentioned before, the skill of presentation is mainly to deal with the public. The public in this instance are the people you come into contact with every day. If you want to create a lasting impression on people you need to be a good presenter.

Facilitation

What is facilitation? This is a life skill that is needed and mostly used in a meeting environment. Facilitation is the art and science of helping a group or team in their thinking, planning, and decision making.

Imagine the chaos and confusion there would be when you are holding a meeting without a moderator or facilitator. Very often we do not realise the knowledge and potential we have within a given grouping or team.

In many cases, the insights and knowledge needed to resolve problems and or identify innovative ways forward, are just within the team. The skill to unlock this potential knowledge and solution is most times found in facilitation.

A good facilitator will strike a balance between dominant personalities and those that are less dominant.

Facilitation mainly focuses on progress rather than arguments. It is very common during meetings to drift away from the point being discussed and so it is very important that the facilitator does not lose focus.

There are 3 main elements to effective facilitation:

  • Focus on Progress – the key to successful facilitation is to focus on progress.  To achieve this you need to set the right tone of the meeting and ensure that the participants are motivated from the start to end. You will also need to use your feedback life skills to ensure that information is flowing smoothly and at the end of it all a consensus has to be built.
  • Interpersonal Skills – to manage progress you need not only keep things on track but, you also need to use good interpersonal skills. These will include having a good command of; rapport building; effective communication verbal and non-verbal; listening actively and how you use your question technique.
  • Personal Characteristics – we all have different characteristics though I feel that the following are a must have to achieve better facilitation; ability to learn; sensitivity; openness to change; self-awareness; friendliness and off-course some sense of humour.

Team Meetings

The last and final life skill set is rather not a skill but something I feel should be acquired in your life “team meetings.” As a leader, you will need to have regular meetings with your team or group.

The key to an effective team meeting is to know why the meeting is being held. So before you call for a meeting ensure that your mind is clear and certain as to why you are calling for the meeting.

I will not go into details of what a meeting should be but they could be formal or informal.

As a leader only hold meetings when necessary. I have worked in companies where meetings are held unnecessarily. Meetings if not well planned for can be a share waste of company time as they take away the time for doing other duties.

The best way is to have planned meetings with set targets. Only “bosses” call for unnecessary meetings.  Another key factor is to call only people you think need to be present or will make a worthwhile contribution.

You see when you call for a meeting it is your reputation at stake. Make sure you build a reputation for handling meetings very well.

Leading team meetings effectively requires a wide range of skills. These skills could include the ability to focus on how the meeting is progressing and blending it with your own interpersonal life skills and characteristics.

To achieve this you need to build your knowledge base and step out of the box. In fact let’s just say remove the box altogether; think about what you are doing as a group and get a lot of practice.

Conclusion

I hope you have learned something from the three series I will end with a Chinese proverb ~ “Tell me and I will forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand”. Until next time remember to “standout tall and be counted”.

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The 9 Must Have Life Skills part 2

Motivational Quotes

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe.” – Anatole France.

 

 

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” – Serenity Prayer

 

Cease to ask what the morrow will bring forth, and set down as gain each day that Fortune grants.” – Horace.

 

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called present.” – Unknown

 

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain.

 

“Failure is blindness to the strategic element in events; success is readiness for instant action when the opportune moment arrives.”  – Newell D. Hillis.

 

Welcome to part 2 of “the 9 must have life skills.” In part 1 I talked about the first three life skills namely; the skill of influencing; the skill of delegation and the skill of persuasion. Click here to read “The 9 must have life skills part 1.”

As mentioned in part 1 this article will be more of help to those in a leadership role. “Leadership does not always wear the harness of compromise” ~ Woodrow Wilson.

In this article, we will look at the next 3 life skills. You may wonder why I call them life skills and not leadership skills, this is because we are all born leaders and we have these skills in us.

The skills are listed randomly even though they are related.

The Skill of Coaching

This is perhaps one of the most critical skills to have in relation to delegation. If you are in a leadership position you will or may have delegated some work to your subordinate(s) and the most critical area is to have confidence in your colleague.

The only way confidence can be created is by way of coaching. You will only have confidence in someone if you know that they were properly coached and more especially if the coaching was done by you.

By definition “coaching is a process which supports people in developing their skills and achieving their skills”. The subject of coaching is a wide one that needs a dedicated article. I promise to do more research on this topic.

There are several approaches to coaching and they all tend to be in agreement that it involves:

  • Activities to develop someone’s skills and abilities. This could be either on a one on one or group basis.
  • Developing targets that are both individual and group-oriented. This is very common in sports-related activities.
  • Focus on improving performance, this could be individual or team.

I believe the skill of coaching is equally important even in parenting. These days our children are very clever and they need to be coached in order to get the maximum benefit from their academic work.

The speed at which they learn is amazingly fast and as a parent, you just need to keep up with them. A good leader should be able to coach, that is imparting some of his skills to his colleagues.

A good leader is judged by how knowledgeable and skilled his team members are. If you are a leader you will be judged by the results your team is achieving.

Feedback

Feedback is inter-linked with the skill of coaching. I regard feedback as a form of communication. Feedback serves two main purposes:

  • Motivation – when a team is performing well, feedback can increase confidence and encourage the team to perform at the same high or even higher level.
  • Correction – this is also true when a team is not performing at the expected level, feedback can be used to assess how to change and improve performance for the better.

This skill (feedback) can be very critical in the following instances;

  • When providing coaching support. At this point, there is feedback from both the coach and the student. As coaching involves the setting of goals the student has to give feedback on the progress and what difficulties are being encountered. The coach also has to give feedback on the modification of the program if need be.
  • Reviewing how a delegated activity is progressing. When you delegate work there is a need for feedback from both ends to ascertain that the job is being done correctly and the person delegated has understood the instructions.
  • Conducting management reviews and appraisals. In a work environment as a leader you will be required to conduct employment appraisals for your juniors. Appraisals are a two way assessment. The person being assessed gives feedback to his appraiser and vice versa.
  • Handling conflict – this is discussed below.
  • Facilitating – this is also discussed in part 3.

For feedback to be appreciated it has to be positive. The following are a few tips for ensuring positive feedback:

  • Feedback has to be specific and to the point.
  • Feedback has to be fair and sincere. This will ensure maximum or intended results to be achieved with minimum difficulty.
  • Feedback should be descriptive and focused on action and not on an individual.
  • Feedback can also be futuristic. This is especially important for corrective feedback.

Remember that feedback is a very vital skill for both good leaders and managers.

The Skill of Conflict Handling

The final skill to be dealt with in this part is the skill of handling conflicts. I would be safe to assume that every one of us have had to resolve some feud of some sort. It doesn’t matter how it was resolved but it was done.

Conflict handling is vital to all human beings whether in leadership roles or not. Yet this is one skill that many of us do not want to have or use. A good leader should know how to resolve conflicts among his team members. This is vital because unresolved conflicts can be very detrimental to the team as a whole.

The first step in handling conflicts is to be aware of the possible reason behind the conflict. A mini investigation can be conducted to ascertain the cause. By definition, some conflicts are easier to handle than others. Some cases can be very difficult to handle that you may require a third party to help resolve them.

Firstly you need to understand as the person in charge that conflict is not necessarily a bad thing. There are bound to be conflicts where two or more people are gathered.

You will also appreciate that if conflicts are resolved properly they can add a lot of motivation to the group, by making the team understand each other even better.

There are however different approaches to handling conflicts. I know for sure that most of us do not want to handle conflicts or would rather find the easy way out. Unfortunately, there is no shortcut.

I believe that conflicts have to be faced or handled head-on. Whichever method is used please ensure that the parties involved are satisfied with the resolution. I know that it is impossible to please all but always look at the bigger picture and what is beneficial to the aggrieved parties.

Conclusion

I feel that the topic on coaching has not been done much justice. I will be writing a whole article on this very challenging topic so you can have an insight of what coaching is all about.

The skill of coaching is a must have for all. “I believe that the mind-set that allows you to spend your working life thinking and congratulating people rather than being unpleasant to them is the mainstay of good leadership” ~ Tim Waterstone. Bye for now and remember to always “standout tall and be counted.” Revised on 01/03/2021.

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Leadership

The 9 Must Have Life Skills part 1

Motivational Quotes

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe.” – Anatole France.

 

 

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” – Serenity Prayer

 

Cease to ask what the morrow will bring forth, and set down as gain each day that Fortune grants.” – Horace.

 

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called present.” – Unknown

 

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain.

 

“Failure is blindness to the strategic element in events; success is readiness for instant action when the opportune moment arrives.”  – Newell D. Hillis.

 

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader” ~ John Quincy Adams. Although there are no set standards of life skills set to have, in order to be successful, as we all have different skills set to see us through the hassle and bustles of life, there are a set of life skills that I personally feel you should acquire in order that you are distinguished from the rest. This set of life skills, I think is the distinction between success and failure. The skills mentioned in this article will be more useful especially to those in a leadership role. “I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people” ~ Mohandas Gandhi.

The Skill of Influencing

The first among the life skills is influence. Maybe let’s start by defining the word its self influence. Here are some dictionary definitions;

  • The ability to change someone’s views, attitude or behaviours
  • The power of a person to have an effect on someone else resulting from ability, position or wealth.

If you are a leader this is one skill that you will need and use very often. You need to know how to communicate in a way that “gains support”. Why do you want to gain support? Influencing a group of people should be distinct from coercion and trickery. People do not want to be tricked or coerced. If you to be a good leader you will use your influencing skill to gain support from your team or group of people. Let the people follow you willingly and you will gain their unwavering trust even in times of difficulties.

Influence goes hand in hand with power. As we have noted in the definition above. Power can be thought of in a number of ways, each relevant to the way leaders can influence others;

  • Expert power – this comes due to the knowledge one has gained
  • Personal power – this comes by way of what other people think about you. The more highly respected the more likely you are able to influence them.
  • Position power – this is gained through your position in an organization

Influencing skills are a combination of various other skills when brought together, these can help you change someone’s views, attitude or behaviour

Delegation

A good leader will always delegate some of his duties. What is delegation? “This is giving responsibility to someone to carryout tasks that you normally do yourself. By delegating you give others the authority to do things, but you remain accountable and responsible for their outcome”. Delegation encourages; communicating what is expected and builds trust between leader and subordinates among others. To understand delegation you need to have honest answers to the following questions.

  • How do you give responsibility to someone else?
  • How do you ensure that they feel clear about what they are being asked to do?

Delegation is a powerful tool. Many leaders do not understand why they should delegate. Here is why I think delegation is a great tool.

  • Delegation releases your time to concentrate on other important matters
  • Builds the capability of others in your team. Remember that no one is indispensable. The organization has to continue growing with or without you.

“No person will make a great business who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit” ~ Andrew Carnegie. Remember always that a leader is team player. In our society today we lack young leaders simply because there is no delegation from the top to help groom the young ones. Theodore Roosevelt says “the best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it”.

Persuasion

The final skill for this part is persuasion. “The act or process of encouraging someone to do or believe someone”. Aristotle broke down persuasion and separated it into three kinds of appeals.

  • An appeal to “ethos”  – the credibility person making the persuasive argument. This maybe how convinced you are by that person.
  • An appeal to “logos” – the use of logic to support a claim. How do the facts being presented add up?
    An appeal to “pathos” – the emotional or motivational appeal.

Being persuasive also means being able to sell a message. Those in the sales and marketing industry will agree with me that they use persuasion more often when trying to sell products/services especially to potential customers.

I love the saying by Professor Bob Sutton “argue if you are right, listen if you are wrong”. Many of the times we know when one has made a mistake. I think it is also very humbling to acknowledge as a leader that you made a mistake and allow your subordinates to make suggestions. Most of the answers we are looking for are just within our team or group.

Selling a message can mean; convincing your colleagues to a certain approach or methodology; like I mentioned above with the sales guys, persuading your would be customers to buy services or products and bringing your colleagues or members of your group to agree with your ideas.

We all have the skill of persuasion in us all it needs is to be awakened. Most successful leaders I have come across or read about are very persuasive. Remember persuasion can be used to influence people to do negative to society.

I do not advocate for negativity and I encourage you to use these skills positively and help change the world into a better place for all.

Conclusion

I am tempted to write more in this article, I will leave it at the 3 life skills for now and will continue in the next article. I do not wish to make my article very long.

As you read these articles reflect on the life skills that you have acquired this far and evaluate them if they are helping you to succeed in life.

There is no written down formula for success and there are no prescribed life’s skill set for success these are only suggestions. You are the formula and you shall succeed in whatever you do and always remember to “standout tall and be counted”.

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